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What To Pack For An All-Inclusive Resort in Mexico or the Caribbean

We love visiting all-inclusive resorts. It can be an easy to plan, stress-free family vacation. Because everything you are going to do on vacation is likely to be located at that one resort (or originates at the resort, you won’t have to do much planning beyond the basics. However, because you probably won’t be leaving your all-inclusive resort very often, it’s important that you pack everything you need. The resort shops usually have a limited selection of items.

Going on an all-inclusive vacation to a beach destination in Mexico or the Caribbean? Here’s what to pack for an all inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean. Keep in mind that we may be missing something you will need, so use this as a starting point to create your own packing list.

We’ve also included some downloadable lists of our beach packing list. This can be a baseline to use but add in your own things. These lists have two parts – a master list of things for the whole family, and then an individual list for each person traveling.

We like to print out a copy of these individual lists for each kid. I write anything extra on them and indicate how many of each item is needed. Then, I let the kids pick out their own items. When they were younger, I would check everything before it got put in a suitcase.

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Coconut Tree

What To Pack For An All Inclusive Resort In Mexico or the Caribbean

Before you create your packing list, it’s important that you check the resort to see what they provide to guests. In most cases, you’ll be able to use towels, snorkel equipment, and floatation devices provided by the resort. You’ll also want to get an idea of what activities, restaurants, and amenities are offered so you pack the right things.

Clothes

Before you go, you’ll want to look at the restaurants at the resort to see if there are any dress codes. Depending on where you are going and where you want to dine, you may need to pack long pants, collared shirts, and nicer shoes.

Some resorts have fine dining restaurants as an optional choice, but it’s always good to be prepared. Usually, those types of restaurants don’t allow flip flops, shorts, or tank tops and you’ll want to have the right outfits.

When I go to an all-inclusive resort at the beach, I typically wear my swimsuit every day. So I don’t need as many regular outfits. You will want things to wear at meals, for excursions, and for times you are doing other activities. Resort casual apparel is usually the best option.

I’d also recommend packing a sweater or sweatshirt for each member of the family. While the weather will likely be warm, sometimes air conditioning can be too much, or the evenings could be cool.

Swimsuits

Most all-inclusive resorts offer pools and beaches, so you are likely to spend much of your time in a bathing suit. I recommend bringing more than one, because it’s never fun to get back into a damp swimsuit.

When packing, think about how you are likely to spend your time in a swimsuit. If you’ll be on waterslides, or doing other adventurous activities like water sports, you may want something more substantial. Rash guards and SPF swimsuits are also a good option, especially when you’ll be in the sun all day.

I also recommend that you bring cover ups, in case you’ll be walking through the hotel lobby, or eating lunch in your swimsuit. A wet bag can also be helpful if you will need to travel with a wet suit.

Shoes

I always find it so difficult to pack shoes. You’ll probably want flip flops or other water shoes for walking around the beach and pool. But depending on your excursions, you may also need comfortable walking shoes. I’d also recommend packing at least one pair or more dressy shoes for dinners.

First Aid Kit

I always travel with a small first aid kit. I keep it filled with essential items like pain and allergy medication, antibiotic cream, and bandages. Before traveling, make sure those medications are allowed in the country you are visiting. I usually keep it packed for travel all the time, and just check the expiration dates before leaving.

Water Bottle

You’ll probably want to mostly drink bottled water at your resort. However, I still recommend traveling with a water bottle. At a minimum, you can use it on your flight, and may also want to fill it with bottled water when you are at the resort.

Snacks

One of the benefits of an all-inclusive resort is having all the food you need at no additional cost. However, if there’s something specific you want, or if you want a snack on the plane, pack what you need. You may also want packaged snacks for any excursions.

Cancun airport bar

Sunscreen

I never go out in the sun without ample sunscreen, so when I go on vacation, I pack multiple bottles. Sunscreen is available at all-inclusive resorts, but is also pretty expensive. So pack what you need, because the Mexican sun can be strong.

If your resort is near a reef, you may also need reef safe sunscreen. Don’t forget to pack lip balm with SPF, so your lips don’t get burned. Aloe Vera is also a good idea in case you get burned.

Towel Clips

While the resort will likely provide towels, you may want to bring towel clips. These can keep your towels securely attacked to your beach chair, and will help reserve your chairs while you are swimming.

Reading material

One of the most relaxing things to me is reading a light beach read by the water. Make sure you have plenty of reading material – for the flights, and for your vacation. If you use an e-reader, like a Kindle, have it loaded with books before you go. Don’t forget the charger.

Insect Repellent

A lot of waterfront locations have mosquitos and other pests, so it’s a good idea to pack some bug spray. Don’t be tempted to purchase the two in one bug spray/sunscreen, because you won’t always need both at the same time. Pack it in a leakproof bag so it doesn’t end up on your clothes.

A turtle in Akumal Bay

Cell Phone Pouch

I bring my phone everywhere I go, but I always worry about it on the beach. I never want to get sand or water on it. These cell phone pouches are a good option to keep your phone safe. They aren’t foolproof, however, so be careful using them directly underwater. If you want good quality underwater photos, I’d recommend a waterproof camera.

Hair Conditioner

I almost always use toiletries provided by resorts, for convenience purposes. However, when I’m going to be spending my time in the water, I like to have my own conditioner. This Stream2Sea Leave-In Hair Conditioner is my favorite because it also has UV protection, and can be left in the hair.

Aloha Bag in the Caribbean

Beach Bag

You’ll need something to carry everything in as you go to and from your hotel room. You can always use your beach bag as a carry-on bag – or bring one that can be folded and packed in your suitcase. One of my favorite beach bags is this one from Aloha Collection, which can be purchased on Amazon.com. It’s portable, expandable, and water-resistant.

Portable Charger

If you are using your phone at the beach and pool, you’ll want to keep it charged. I recommend bringing a portable charger with you. You can also use it on your excursions, and on your flight. Here’s our post with recommendations of our favorites.

Sunhat

To further protect your face and scalp, pack a sunhat. The best option is a wide-brimmed hat which will also protect your neck, but a baseball hat can sometimes stay on better when it’s windy outside or if you are on a boat.

Sun hats can be tough to pack, but there are some foldable/packable ones. Also, be sure to bring hair ties to keep your hair out of your face.

Day bag

Planning to take an excursion off property? You’ll want to have a day bag or travel backpack, which you can pack with everything you need for the day. You may be able to use your beach bag, or a sling bag also works well for this purpose. Don’t forget your credit cards, ID, and some cash.

Door lock

Want to make sure your hotel room door is extra safe? This portable door lock is small enough to slip into your luggage and is easy to use on your door. I always have one with me, and it’s great for extra peace of mind.

Cash

I don’t love to travel with cash, but it can be helpful to have small bills if you are going to be tipping the staff.

In addition to these items, we also have a downloadable/printable packing list for a beach vacation. It doesn’t include everything above, and may not have everything you need. But it’s a good starting point.

Going on an all-inclusive vacation to a beach destination in Mexico or the Caribbean? Here's what to pack for an all inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean. Keep in mind that we may be missing something you will need, so use this as a starting point to create your own packing list.

Here are the packing lists:

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